Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Mahie Gill, Jimmy Shergill, Chitrangda Singh
Direction: Tigmanshu Dhulia
The hallmarks of the ‘Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster’ franchise have been intrigue, longing, betrayal and revenge. The third installment in the series, however, lacks the layered complexity and skilled execution that had the audience hooked to the previous two offerings.
This one has the biwi (Mahie Gill) holding the reins of the erstwhile empire and commanding a hefty clout as the elected local politician. Saheb, Aditya Pratap Singh (Jimmy Shergill), is behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit and seething with rage at his wife’s manipulative ways. Sanjay Dutt joins the cast as the gangster who becomes complicit in another plot to get rid of the saheb.
The estranged husband and wife share a relationship shrouded in mistrust and animosity. The current situation heightens their frustration as they have to call a temporary truce that neither is convinced about.
Dhulia’s story gets off to a labored start and the narrative keeps spiraling down a plot trajectory that is neither coherent nor engaging. A lot of new characters are introduced, but they just crowd the screen failing to make an impression. The whole backstory about the new gangster, does take the story out of the North Indian heartland to London, but it is essentially an irrelevant sub-plot that adds little to the actual storyline.
Sanjay Dutt’s appearance with an unnecessary background score tries to make him appear menacing, but sketchy character development makes his inclusion in this saga seem pointless. Mahie Gill, who was so compelling in the previous parts, looks inept at portraying such a nuanced character. I remember feeling both empathy and disgust for her earlier. Here, she seems like a mere caricature of her previous portrayals. The usually dependable Jimmy Shergill also disappoints in a character that isn’t fleshed out properly.
‘Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3’, with an ‘A’ certification, seems more an exercise in titillation than an attempt at recounting a twisted tale about complex characters. The latest edition is no match for the intrigue and the craft that was at display when Dhulia directed the prequels. Without any FOMO, you can give this a wide berth.